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This Week With Christiane Amanpour

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Gadhafi 37, Libya 34, U.s. 20, United States 19, Us 14, America 9, Nato 9, Afghanistan 8, Clinton 7, Iraq 6, Benghazi 5, Bush 5, Pakistan 5, Donald Rumsfeld 5, Syria 4, Somalia 3, Abc 3, Mona 3, Pentagon 3, Egypt 3,
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  ABC    This Week With Christiane Amanpour    News/Business. Political guests  
   and viewpoints. New. (HD) (CC)  

    March 27, 2011
    10:00 - 11:00am EDT  

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this morning, target libya. clinton. gates. rumsfeld. three major headliners, only on "this week." u.s. and allied bombs and missiles hammer libyan targets. the rebels gain ground. and the president prepares to make his pitch to the american people. >> it's u.s. policy that gadhafi needs to go. >> what if gadhafi stays? just back from the middle east, defense secretary robert gates and secretary of state hillary clinton come to "this week" for the first interviews since the attacks began to make the president's case. what does victory look like? can it be achieved? and at what cost? then -- >> i don't have any regrets at all.
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>> what would donald rumsfeld do in a third war. and he'll respond to critics who say he's been rewriting history. and george will and the "roundtable" will debate the libyan mission, the president's message. and why one hopeful is having a tough time agreeing with himself. >> announcer: live from the newseum. "this week" with christiane amanpour starts now. >> good morning, i'm jake tapper. christiane is off today. some major developments in libya. rebel forces have scored a key victory taking back the oil town of brega in the east. they continue the push west. abc's alex marquardt is in benghazi. alex, what is the mood where you are? >> reporter: good morning, jake. a lot of excitement, gunfire, and honking on the front lines. a quick advance toward the west was expected following the stalemate that was broken. this took people by surprise.
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opposition leaders here telling me today that they're hoping that the rebels will slow down a little bit to allow them to regroup. and to allow the senior military officials to take over. the next town is gadhafi's hometown. they don't know what kinds of weapons he has there. in tripoli, a disturbing scene. it reminded us of the brutality of this regime. a woman burst into a hotel. that houses a lot of foreign journalists. she said she was arrested and raped by gadhafi forces. security forces in the hotel tried to silence her. they put a hood over her. there was a scuffle. she was driven off. a government spokesman said she was mentally ill and drunk. then allowed for the fact that she might have been actually raped and said, they're looking into it. jake? >> alex marquardt in libya. stay safe. president obama is set to address the nation tomorrow night. he's under intense pressure.
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to explain his decision to get involved in libya. joining me now in their first interviews since the attacks on libya began, secretary of state hillary clinton and defense secretary robert gates. madame and mr. secretary, thank you so much for joining us. the mission is a no-fly zone and civilian protection and does not include removing gadhafi from power. why not have as part of the mission regime change? removing gadhafi from nower? >> i think you don't want ever to set a set of goals or a military mission where you can't be confident of accomplishing the objectives. as we have seen in the past, regime change is a very complicated business. it sometimes takes a long time. sometimes it can happen very fast. it was never part of the military mission. >> nato has assumed command and control of the no-fly zone, or
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is this weekend. but not yet for the civilian protection. when do we anticipate that? >> i think hillary's been more engaged with that diplomacy than i have. >> we hope, jake, that nato, which is making the military planning for the civilian protection mission, will meet in the next few days. make a decision, which we expect to be positive. to include that mission. and just as the arms embargo and the no-fly zone has been transitioned to nato command and control, the civilian protection mission will as well. >> what do you say to the people in ivory coast or syria saying where is our no-fly zone? we're being killed by our government, too. >> there's not an air force being used. there's not the same level of force. the situation is significantly different enough that the world has not come together. however, in ivory coast we have a u.n. peace-keeping force. which we're supporting.
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we're beginning to see the world coalesce around the fact that mr. agbo is no longer the president. each of these situations is different. but in libya, when a leader says, spare nothing. show no mercy. and calls out air force attacks on his own people, that crosses a line that people in the world had decided they could not tolerate. >> when do we know that the mission is done? the no-fly zone has succeeded? military protection has stopped? >> the implementation of the no-fly zone, for most purposes, is complete. now, it will need to be sustained. it can be sustained with a lot less effort than what it took to set it up.
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as i indicated in my testimony on the hill, you don't establish a no-fly zone by just saying it. you go in and suppress the air forces. i think we have made a lot of progress on the humanitarian side and his ability to move armor. to move toward a benghazi or a place like that. has pet till well been eliminated. we'll have to keep our eye on it because he has ground forces at his beck and call. the reality is, they're under a lot of pressure. the logistics. there are signs that they're moving back to the west, away from ajdabiya. and other places. i think that we have prevented the large-scale slaughter that was beginning to take place. has taken place in some places. and so i think we're at a point where the establishment of the no-fly zone and the protection of the cities from the wholesale
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military salt that we have seen, certainly in the east, has been accompli accomplished. now we can move to sustain them. >> i would add two points to what secretary gates said. the united states senate called for a no-fly zone in a resolution that passed, i think, on march 1st. that mission is on the brink of having been accomplished. there was a lot of congressional support to do something. there is not a perfect option. when one is looking at a situation like this. i think that the president ordered the best available option. the united states worked with the international community to make sure there was authorization to do what we have helped to accomplish. but what is quite remarkable here is naso assuming responsibility for the entire mission means that the united
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states will move to a supporting role. just as our allies are helping us in afghanistan, where we bear the disproportionate amount of the effort, we are supporting a mission through nato that was very much initiated by european requested joined by arab requests. i think this is a watershed moment in international decision making. we learned a lot in the 1990s. we saw what happened in rwanda. it took a long time in the balkans, in kosovo. to deal with a tyrant. i think what has happened since march 1st, and we're not done with the month, demonstrates really remarkable leadership. >> i would add one other thing. a concrete manifestation of this thing. we're, at the department of defense, beginning to do our planning in terms of drawing down resources.
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from the support of the no-fly zone and then the humanitarian mission now. it may not start in the next day or two, but i expect it in the very near future. >> i wanted to follow on that. how long are we going to be there in that support role? >> we'll begin diminishing the level of our engagement, the level of our resources we have involved in this. as long as there is a no-fly zone and we have unique capabilities to bring to bear, for example, intelligence, reconnaissance, some tanking ability -- we'll continue to have a presence. a lot of these -- a lot of the forces that we will have available other than the isr are forces already assigned to europe or have been assigned to italy or are at sea in the mediterranean. >> i heard a nato official anticipate it could be three months. people at the pentagon think
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longer than that. do you think that we'll be gone by the end of the year? will the mission be over by the end of the year? >> i don't think anybody knows the answer to that. >> do you think libya posed an actual threat to the united states? >> no, it was not a vital national interest to the united states. but it was an interest. for the reasons that secretary clinton talked about. the engagement of the arabs. the engagement of the europeans. the general humanitarian question that was at stake. there was another piece of this that was a consideration. you have had revolutions on the east and the west of libya. they're fragile. >> egypt and tunisia? >> egypt and tunisia. you had a potentially destabilizing event, a situation that put at risk the revolutions in tunisia and egypt.
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>> i just want to add, too, there's been a lot of questions. and the questions deserve to be asked and answered. the president will address the nation on monday night. imagine we were sitting here, and benghazi had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people. and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered. hundreds of thousands had fled and, as bob said, ether with nowhere to go, or overwhelming egypt while it's in his own difficult transition. and we were sitting here. the cries would be, why did the united states not do anything? how could you stand by when, you know, france, and the united kingdom and other europeans and the arab league and your arab partners were saying, you have got to do something? every decision we make is going to have pluses and minuses. >> you heard the secretary of defense say that libya did not pose an actual or imminent threat to the nation. bearing in mind what you just said, i'm wondering how the
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administration reconciles the attack without wong fall aproouchl with the then candidate in 2007 saying that the president does not have power under the constitution to unilaterally attack. institution to unilaterally authorize this. you yourself said this about president bush. >> the administration believed that any, any use of force against iran is necessary, the president must come to congress to seek that authority. >> why not go to congress? >> we would welcome congressional support. but i don't think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention, where we're one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either i or president obama was speaking of several years ago.
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i think this has a limited time frame. a very clearly defined mission. which we are in the process of fulfilling. >> i want to get to a couple of other topics before you guys go. one is in yemen. president saleh, a crucial ally in counterterrorism, seems on his way out. secretary gates, you said this week, we have not done any post-saleh planning. how dangerous is a post-saleh yemen to the united states? >> i think -- i think it is a real concern. because the most active and, at this point, perhaps, the most aggressive branch of al qaeda -- al qaeda on the arabian peninsula operates out of yemen. we have had a lot of cooperation from president saleh and the
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security services. if that government collapses and is replaced by one more weak, we'll face additional challenges out of yemen. no question. it's a real problem. >> secretary clinton, on pakistan, they've been trying to block counterterrorism efforts in some regions. they continue to work with terrorists that attack india. it held a u.s. diplomat in prison for several weeks. as i don't need to tell you. has the relationship gotten worse? the u.s. and pakistan? >> it's a challenging relationship. there have been some problems. we were very appreciative of getting our diplomat out of pakistan. and that took cooperation by the government of pakistan. we have cooperated very closely together in going after terrorists who pose a threat to us and the pakistanis themselves. it's a very difficult relationship. because pakistan is in a hard position, trying to figure out
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how it's going to contend with its own internal extremist threat. i think on the other hand, we have also developed good line of communication. good opportunities for cooperation. but it's something we have to work on every day. >> finally, we've talked a bit about the end of this operation. how it ends. i'm wondering if you can envision the united states supporting a plan where gadhafi is exiled? would the u.s. be willing to support safe haven, immunity from prosecution and access to funds? as a way to end this conflict? >> we're nowhere near that type of negotiation. i'll be going to london to a conference that the british government is hosting. there will be a number of countries. not only those participating in the enforcement of the resolution but those pursuing political and other interventions.
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and the united nations has a special envoy who will be actively working with gadhafi and those around him. we've sent a clear message that it is time for him to transition out of power. the african union has called for a democratic transition. we think there will be developments along that line in the weeks and months ahead. but i can't, sitting here today, predict to you exactly how it's going to play out. we believe that libya will have a better shot in the future if he departs and leaves power. >> secretary clinton, secretary gates, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. next, what would rumsfeld do? i'll talk libya strategy with donald rumsfeld. the man who helped lead the united states into afghanistan and iraq. and i'll get reaction to the criticism being leveled at his best-selling memoir. breathe in, breathe out.
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as we know, there are no knowns. there are things we know we know. we also know there are known unknowns. we know there are some things we do not know. there are also unknown unknowns. the ones we don't know we don't know. if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it's the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. >> donald rumsfeld, words that became the title of his recently released memoir, "known and unknown." he laid low for a few years. after he left the administration in to 06. now he's back with a vengeance. today he's here to weigh in. on america's new war in libya, how is the obama administration handling it. former secretary donald rumsfeld joins me from florida. thank you for joining us. >> thank you.
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it's good to be with you. >> so, first of all, are we doing the right thing in libya? >> well, the first thing that one has to say is that we have u.s. military forces involved. everyone has to be hopeful that it turns out well. and that the progress proceeds. what concerns me is the questions that have been raised. they are fair questions. questions about who the rebels are. and i think probably the most important question is whether or not gadhafi will stay. if you put yourself in the shoes of the rebels, they wonder whether or not the coalition has an interest in gadhafi leaving. there's a great deal of ambiguity about that. gadhafi's forces wonder whether or not gadhafi will be leaving. there's the same ambiguity that affects their decision making. and until that's clarified, it
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seems to me, we'll have a much more difficult time. i think that the goal has to be that gadhafi leaves. >> that is not the goal of the military campaign. the military campaign's mission is civilian protection and the no-fly zone. do you think the u.s. should not have entered this coalition without gadhafi's removal been a goal? >> my personal view is that once you're involved, you have to recognize that the prestige of the united states is at stake. if you think about the region. iran and syria are important. and their close linkage. the damage they're doing us in iraq, afghanistan, and lebanon. they're sponsoring terrorism in major portions of that region, which is terrible damaging to us. second in terms of strategic importance, again is not libya.
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it's egypt, saudi arabia, and the gulf. those are the anchors in that region for stability and for the united states of america. and what we do in libya will unquestionably, how we handle it, how it turns out, will unquestionably have a serious impact on the more important issues of iran and syria and egypt and saudi arabia and the gulf. >> you seem to be suggesting that libya was not high on the priority list. in that region for the u.s. to be involved in. i'm wondering, if you had been secretary of defense as gadhafi's troops stormed into benghazi and gadhafi himself threatened no mercy and there was a very real fear of a mass slaughter, what would you have recommended to the president? >> well, i wasn't there. i can't answer that question. i will say that i think president obama and secretary clinton are both experiencing the differences from serving in a legislative branch to serving
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in executive positions. the perspective is enormously different. you can almost see them transition in their thinking and their handling of this. i listened to secretary gates. i must say i agree with a lot of what he says. when someone asked, how many people might be killed or what will it cost, there's no one who can answer those questions. and he's absolutely right in that respect. i think you have to pick it up from where we are now. where we are now is not where your question started. what would you do in the beginning? we are involved. and the prestige of the united states is involved. and think back to the gulf war. the first gulf war in the early 1990s. saddam hussein, when it was over, said he had fought the mother of all battles. george herbert walker bush was gone, margaret thatcher of the uk was gone and that he was still in office.
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and the implication of that was that he had defeated the united states. we're involved in libya. if gadhafi stays on, he will think he fought the mother of all battles. against the united states. it will be damaging to us. just as our demeanor in somalia was damaging. the situation in lebanon was damaging. that will embolden others of his ilk. >> speaking of emboldening, gadhafi -- it's not new that he's a bad guy and that libya was involved in the pan am bombing. and yet the administration that you were a member of, after you left, took gadhafi off the list. opened relations with gadhafi. in hindsight, was that a mistake by president bush? >> i think the logic behind president bush's decision there was that after saddam hussein was deposed, and pulled out of
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that spider hole and executed by the iraqi people, gadhafi looked at that. gadhafi decided he would not be the next saddam hussein. he had a nuclear program. he decided to give up that nuclear program to avoid becoming the next saddam hussein. and being deposed. he invited inspectors in. the world is a lot better off today because there was not a nuclear competition going on in that part of the world. now, was it mistake in retrospect? i don't see how anyone -- president bush or anyone else -- could have anticipated necessarily that you would end up with this kind of turmoil occurring in that country. i think probably getting rid of libya's nuclear program was a major accomplishment of the bush administration. >> your former deputy at the pentagon, paul wolfowitz, said this last week. >> if gadhafi were to survive,
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it would be very much against american interests. very seriously. >> is he correct? >> oh, he is. at this stage. once the united states gets involved in something like this, if it ends and gadhafi is still sitting there as i say, being able to say, with some credibility, that he has just fought the mother of all battles in libya. and he is still there and the united states and the coalition countries are all gone, you bet it will be damaging to our country. that's a quite different issue as to what we should have done at the outset. i wasn't knowledgeable at what the details were at that point and i can't respond to that part. >> let's talk a little bit about forming coalitions. after 9/11, nato offered to help. some say you and the u.s. rebuffed the offer. would it have been better off if the u.s. had pursued the military campaign if afghanistan
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in the way that president obama is pursuing the action in libya? with nato as the command and control structure? >> i think that's nonsensical partisan politics. the coalition in libya is the smallest one in history. we had over 90 countries in the global war on terror. dozens of countries involved in afghanistan. dozens of countries involved in iraq. and still, the democrats were alleging it was president bush was there unilaterally. it's nonsense. now, going -- the first thing you have to do is recognize that, as i talk about in my book, the mission has to determine the coalition. the coalition ought not determine the mission. now, that being said, if you determine what your mission is and then you decide, as we did, with respect to afghanistan,
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that you put together a coalition that fits that mission, that agrees with the mission, that won't back out of that mission, then you have a sufficient seriousness of purpose that you have a chance to prevail. if you go into something with confusion and ambiguity, and we have heard four or five different explanations of why we're there, that is the root of the problem. the confusion that comes from that. confusion about what the mission is. confusion about who the rebels are. confusion about whether or not gadhafi should be left in power. confusion about what the command and control should be. it seems to me, we proceeded in a very orderly way. president bush made a decision that america had been attacked. that was unacceptable. we were going after al qaeda and remove the taliban. he set that as the mission and put together a coalition to take
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on that mission. that's exactly the way it should be done. it evolved into a nato command in afghanistan for the major portion of the effort. but there were not ambiguities about who was in charge. >> we're going to come back and talk to secretary rumsfeld about afghanistan and iraq. and he'll answer the critics. about his book. one of them being bob woodward. who trashed the book as one big cleanup job and brazen effort to shift the blame to others. strong words. we'll give the secretary a chance to respond after this. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro.
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to investments that help businesses grow and create jobs. ♪ at ge, we're using imagination at work... ecomagination... healthymagination... and capital... to create advanced technology that's good for the economy... for the environment... for everyone. ♪ the president comes in, he has to deal with the world like he finds it. not a terribly friendly world. not a world where everyone believes what he does. it's a world where there are other military powers besides the united states. he has to deal with what he has. >> vintage donald rumsfeld from 1976 on abc. appearing many sundays ago,
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during his first tour after the secretary of defense. his second more turbulent pentagon term ended in 2006. he went low profile for awhile. now he's back with a new book on the new york times best seller list. i should note that all proceeds of this book are going military families, and those of the fallen. let's talk about your book. it's a best seller. it's interesting. there seems to be a common thread in the criticism. bob woodward said it was one big cleanup job. a brazen effort to shift blame to others. including president bush, distort history, ignore the record. or simply avoid discussing matters that can't be simply air-brushed away. without making this a fight with bob woodward, how do you respond that you used the book to shift blame way from things that were your responsibility? >> well, first, i would say that the comment on the book has been all across the spectrum. a good deal of praise. and then people like woodward who have criticized it. i understand it.
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these are tough issues. it's a controversial set of subjects. i decided that unlike woodward, who writes a book fast, who doesn't have a website to document it, who talks to people that were not involved in the decisions in some cases, second and third layers down, that's a different kind of a book. my book has over 1,300 end notes. it has hundreds of footnotes. i have a website that's got over 3,500 primary source documents and other documents that support the book. if someone reads the book, they can see a paragraph that i have quoted from a memo. they can go to the website and read the entire memo. it's unusual that it's fully documented. i feel good about it. we have had something like 10 million hits on the website, where serious people, rather than criticize, have gone to the website, tried to see what
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really took place, and began to see how tough the decisions are. all the easy decisions get made below the presidential level. these decisions will be made by people. they're multidimensional. they're decisions that, in many instances are made with imperfect information, and in some cases inaccurate. information. i think it will give people chance to see what it was like on the inside, which is not the case with the books written by people who were not there. >> let's talk about some of the foot notes. i went to www.rumsfeld.com, the website you surprisingly failed to name. and also have read the book. there was something that was interesting. this memo that you prepared before the war in iraq in which you outlined the worst case scenarios. the things that could go wrong. you called it the parade of
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horribles. one of the parade of horribles that you noted this -- rather than having the post-saddam effort require two to four years, it could take eight to ten years. there by absorbs u.s. leadership, military and financial resources. october, 2002. one month later, you said this. >> i can't tell you if a -- if the use of force in iraq today would last five days, five weeks, or five months. but it certainly is not going to last any longer than that. >> can you help us understand how this memo is talking about a two to four-year commitment or eight to ten. but publicly, you were saying five weeks or five months? >> sure. i certainly can. i was talking about major combat operations. that lasted, i think, about four or five weeks. it was not inaccurate. i said dozens of times, i said what i said earlier, where i
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agreed with secretary of defense bob gates. that nobody can tell you about any war how long it will last, how much it will cost, how many lives will be lost. in every war, it's a terrible thing. every war is a failure of foreign policy. the inability of governments to solve things in a peaceful way. that parade of -- so called parade of horribles, i made before the war started. i circulated it to the national security council and the president. i felt that was my responsibility. it was to sit town and say to myself, okay, the president's decided he's going to move forward and invade iraq and change the regime. we have a plan. the plan changes with first contact of the enemy. what are the things that could conceivably go differently. i made that list. i got other people to help me develop it. i sent to it the president and the national security council. the other day, i was on "o'reilly" and he said, why didn't we publicize the list?
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well, that would be mindless, to tell the enemy every conceivable thing we didn't want them to do. every conceivable thing that they could do to complicate things nor the united states and the coalition. a lot of those terrible things did not happen. some of them did, to be sure. >> we're going to have to unfortunately leave it there. secretary rumsfeld, thank you for joining us. good luck with your book. next, across the middle east, violent crackdowns in places. why is the u.s. always the nation pressed to intervene and put the lives of our troops at risk? we'll put this question to "the roundtable." [ male announcer ] opportunity is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy.
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we will provide the unique capabilities we can bring to bear to stop the violence against the civilians. >> stop the violence against civilians. i kind of like that. there are other civilians in other countries and they're being killed too. and for them, we're enforcing a "we're not even gonna try" zone. >> how to convince a nation that war-weary libya is a nation to fight for.
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what should the president say tomorrow night? let's go to "the roundtable," george will, former admiral and former congressman joe sestak. journalist mona eltahawy and jeffrey goldberg. of the atlantic. thanks, one and all, for being here. george, what is the objective in libya? >> secretary gates hung out the mission accomplished banner. said the mission was to protect the humanitarian crisis unfolding. that was never the objective. or at least the logic of the events and the rhetoric changed that. our objective is to create a vacuum by decapitating the regime. by getting rid of gadhafi. into which we hope something good will flow. never mind what he learned in yugoslavia. when the lid came off that boiling caldron of ethnic and religious hostilities. never mind what he learned in iraq. never mind the complicity we found in vietnam.
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never mind the possibility as secretary clinton has said, this could wind up an enormous somalia. we hope things will be better. >> you're a former admiral. should we have intervened? >> i was not supportive of our intervention. when i was at the national security council, i learned you have to make sure that the military force matches the political objective. we have differing interpretations of what our political objective is. and particularly in an alliance. an alliance, that we don't appear to want to lead, that could lead to mission creep. somalia, president bush went in, i thought that was a good thing to do. i thought we should have intervened in rwanda. that objective changed. we didn't have military force to match it. it had immense impact on our prestige and what we wanted to do in the world. my concern is right now that as
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a former -- as the chairman of the skroijoint chiefs of staff last weekend, circumstances will drive where this goes in the future. >> mona, you're more supportive you have a different take. on whether the u.s. should be leading this. >> absolutely. first of all, i opposed the invasion of iraq. i'm if thenot a fan of foreign intervention. especially one where the united states has a terrible history of the opinion of others. about our involvement. i think that it was a good thing because it was in answer to a call by the libyan transitional national council. i recognize them as representative of the libyan
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revolution. i think it's essential that the revolutionaries win. gadhafi is taking a lesson and trying to encourage other dictats in the region by saying, you slaughter your people, and you cut this revolution, you nip the revolutionary spirit in the bud. we're seeing the revolution. syria, of all countries, the north korea of the middle east, as many syrians i know call it. it's absolutely essential that the people of the region gain their freedom and dignity. i support this intervention. i think it should be an international one with the u.s. playing a lesser role than other parties involved. >> jeff, step back from the criticism for a second. what have the united states and the coalition gotten done so far? >> there are profound reasons to be opposed to this. there are profound reasons to
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support this. one thing that has to get mentioned is that gadhafi, a couple of weeks ago, was poised to go into benghazi and slaughter 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 people. we don't know. he said he was going to do that. because of our intervention, he wasn't able to do that. that has to be the baseline understanding of the conversation, at this moment, i think. gadhafi's job is not to make it easy for us. he presented a set of difficult options. but so far, this has actually worked. >> george, you heard secretary gates talk about how this was not a vital interest, libya. do you think he's trying to distance himself from this? the reports were that he recommended against this. >> i'm sure he recommended against this. he more than anyone else, and the admiral knows this, how stressed our military is. i'm sure he's against it because he's a realist in foreign policy school. no one can say that libya is as important to us as yemen or bahrain, for example. this creates problems because they have their own difficulties with their people.
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i tend to agree. i think we're doing the wrong thing. i think the president is doing the wrong thing in the right way. which is to say, step back, and let others, for a change, shoulder some of the burden. >> we're going to take a quick break. a "this week" quiz for you at home. mixed signals on libya from a would be commander in chief. which white house hopeful was for military intervention in libya before he was against it? the answer when we come back. , impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 80% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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what would you do about libya? >> exercise a no-fly zone this evening. the united states doesn't need anybody's permission. i would not have intervened. i think there were a lot of other ways to affect gadhafi. >> newt gingrich spent the last few days trying to explain his own conflicting statements. on libya. he said yesterday he was responding to the comments the president had made on two different days. flip-flop? yes or no. let's bring in "the roundtable." george will, jeff goldberg, joe sestak, and mona eltahawy. what do you make of the republican criticism of the president and the handling of libya? as an admiral and democratic congressman? >> i haven't thought much of it. so far, it's been more of a -- we're okay with it, except that
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obama is in charge. and then, i saw, someone flipped, like you saw, or you saw someone like pawlenty come out and say, it's a complex issue. look this is not an issue i think about who is ready to be commander in chief. it's about leadership. it does get to a point that george made and that you made, mona. i understand the reasoning for wanting to have the arab league look like it's on the forefront. but what i learned at sea and in the white house is when u.s. forces are placed in harm's way, if we don't take the leadership, we're giving leverage to others to take it a certain way. second, after having run in pennsylvania recently, i saw people that wanted to have trust in our leadership. for the leadership to almost look like they wanted to avoid this conflict and doesn't want to lead in it begs too many questions. i think that's important right now in america. >> george?
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>> well, i agree with that. but the question is what you posed, what is the reaction to the united states where we're viewed as many ways? it's been a toxic way. the answer is to step back. >> what is the reaction? we've seen the -- the polling in the u.s. is not great. what are you hearing in the region? >> the libyans are relieved. it's helped end this all, or slow down the massacre of the people by gadhafi. i think the u.s. has to stop talking about the nonmilitary ways to help. recognize the transitional council as the government. help the libyans figure out what happens after the military intervention. something will have to come. if we're talking about a vacuum. you must start helping them figure out the democracy or the freedom that they want to move ahead with. they have to build a country that gadhafi never built for them. so that he remains the only person to lead it. >> the problem is, to pick up on what mona is saying, we don't know if the obama administration knows what it wants next for libya. that's the part that is making a
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lot of us who support this very queasy. there's no indication of how they want to remove gadhafi. obviously, gadhafi can't stay in power. we won't be able to call it a success if gadhafi stays in power. we haven't seen much straight talk about what comes next. that's very problematic. >> that's an important issue. whether the administration wanted to or not, success in u.s. policy hinges on the removal of gadhafi. militarily, what would that take? the rebels are asking for arms. they've gotten two cities, those were fairly easy. what about the hometown for gadhafi? >> the two words the obama administration wants to avoid are regime change. that brings back unpleasant memories. but that's what we're facing right now. we're facing regime change. it's important to understand that. >> it's important to share the cost of the war. u.s. leadership is something that's needed.
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the cost of us having such a great military, at the expense of even our nato allies is that we're the only ones that have the heft. >> i want to take one minute. we only have a minute left. to note the passing this weekend of geraldine ferraro. here is ferraro at the 1984 democratic convention. >> by choosing a woman to run for our nation's second highest office, you send a powerful signal to all americans. there are no doors we cannot unlock. >> george? >> well, we were late to the party. she came along 18 years after indira gandhi governed, 15 years after golda meir. governed israel. the second term of margaret thatcher. that's when she was nominated.
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she was a catholic woman from queens. >> up next, be the smartest one at your water cooler. there's a lot going on in the world right now. abc news has it covered. don't miss our special "this week" preview. of what to look for this week. a company-wide memo about the meeting? uh-huh. this is the meeting. we are the company. don't sweat it. i just switched us to sprint, so e-mail, web...on 4g... it's all unlimited. [ cellphone buzzes ] you just texted me to read the memo? unlimited text too. we really need you on this conference call. rick, it's lyle. rickster? i'm here. there he is! [ male announcer ] switch to sprint and get unlimited 4g data on a wide range of devices. sprint 4g, it's business without limits. trouble hearing on the phone? only on the now network. visit sprintrelay.com. ttd# 1-800-345-2550
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about what the president might say tomorrow. we hope you'll join diane, george, and me as we hear what he actually has to say. live korvelg of the president's speech starts at 7:30 eastern time. then, stay tuned for "nightline." and the full picture. the latest developments in libya, and the rumblings in congress. on tuesday, diane sawyer sits down with the president and talks to him one on one. "world news" will dig into a medical mystery. in an oklahoma town where neighbors live with a fear that is contagious. >> this lady has cancer. >> what if driving down your street felt like visiting patients in a cancer ward? >> that lady that lived in that house right there passed away from cancer. >> of 20 homes in the neighborhood, 14 have one or more cancer patients. >> it's disheartening. to have this happen and not be sure if you're safe. >> what is making them afraid?
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and start your morning with "good morning america," live from london this week. with a colorful countdown to the royal wedding. they'll have the latest scoop on prince william's bachelor party. and then later in the week, interviews with the groom and his best man, prince william and prince harry. and from here in the colonies, that's our show for today. we're always here online at abcnews.com. christiane will be back next week. i'm jake tapper. thanks for watching.
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